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Renovations To CSUN President's Home And Office Cost Over $350K

NORTHRIDGE (CBS) — California State University, Northridge has hired Diane Harrison as its new president amidst faculty and student protests and enrollment freezes.

Along with the cost of bringing in a new president, more new expenses will be required.

Potential costs include office renovations, salaries for new staff, moving costs, and welcoming events.

Office renovations are costing state funding $243,292 and renovations to the university house will cost around $115,000.

Housing renovations come from the University Corporation, who owns the house.

20-year CSUN faculty member, professor Nate Thomas, believes the renovations are unnecessary and too costly.

"This is a time of tight budgets. This is a time of cutbacks. This is a time of faculty furloughed. This is a time of students being locked out of classes. It just sends the wrong message," he said.

Some CSUN students say the school should be spending the money on education, not renovation..

"I can only wonder. Maybe if there weren't so many renovations, that could go into some scholarships and funds to help people like me who can't get financial aid," CSUN freshman Dana Schwartz said.

But interim CSUN president Harry Hellenbrand says he cannot spend the money on students because Cal State rules do not allow him to do that.

"If there was a choice between adding classes and refurbishing the offices the way that we did, clearly we would opt to choose to add the classes, but that's not the choice that we're faced with right now. The choice we're faced with is either making these renovations now or postponing them further, but we're not able to add more classes at this stage. I know that's strange, but that's politics in California," he said.

He says an increase in enrollment would be the school over it's quota, which is not permitted by the Cal State University system.

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